Lawyers with disabilities seek inauguration of Commission for Disabled Persons


Agency Report

The Association of Lawyers with Disability in Nigeria (ALDIN) on Thursday called for the inauguration of a National Commission for Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Nigeria.

The group said the commission would improve the living standards of PWDs and foster the creation of an all-inclusive society which would be accessible by all.

In a statement signed by the President and Secretary of ALDIN, Daniel Onwe and Gaius Ogan, respectively, the association said it believed that the “web” of discrimination will be better curbed if such commission was inaugurated.

The statement commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving assent to the “Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, 2018” on January 23.

Mr Onwe, the ALDIN president, said the new law, which was long-awaited, was a welcome development, adding that the country was on the right path to creating an all-inclusive society.

He, however, underscored the importance of inaugurating a commission for disabled persons, which he said, would serve as the driver to give effect to the new law.

“The leadership and members of ALDIN appreciate the assent to the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2018.

“Past administrations had failed to assent to similar bills, and this seemed insensitive to the challenges and pains that the average person living with disability in Nigeria experiences on a daily basis.

“By the passage of this new law, Nigeria is on the path to creating an inclusive society accessible to all, and we remain grateful to Mr President.

“However, assenting to the Bill cannot in itself put paid to the tragedy of the discriminations suffered by persons with disabilities.

“The inauguration of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities is very pivotal to the potency and success story of the disability statute.

“Hence, our clarion call on the executive is for the inauguration of the National Commission on Persons with Disabilities as soon as possible,” he said.

He reiterated the need for Nigeria to become a society with equal opportunity and standing for all.